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My Favourite Self-Help Books to Get Me Through a Rough Day

I’m a huge fan of self-help books. While I’m reading them, I always feel a little mood boost and motivation to try something new. Here’s a list of my current favourite self-help books!

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff- And It’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff is a great reminder to not take life too seriously and to stop getting upset at things that won’t matter soon enough. The book goes through a hundred mini life tips, from remembering that life isn’t an emergency to letting others be right.

I found all the tips to be really inspiring and are easy to incorporate into your everyday life. I highly recommend this book if you want tips for appreciating what’s around you and for connecting with people better. I’ve been able to have great conversations and live a bit more presently thanks to this book!

The Courage to Be Happy by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga 

This entire book is written as a discussion between a philosopher and his student arguing about the principles of Alderian psychology. Since the whole book is a conversation, this is a super fast read! I had never heard of the philosopher Adler before I picked up this book and I learned a lot. They discuss how to let go of the past, how to change your behaviour going forward, and how to choose happiness.

If you’re interested in philosophy, this is a great way to learn about Adler and think about how you interact with others! 

The Anxiety Cure: An Eight-Step Program for Getting Well by Robert L. DuPont, Elizabeth DuPont Spencer, and Caroline M. DuPont

Out of this list, I think this book affected me the most. It’s written by Robert DuPont, the founding president of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, and his two daughters. If you’re an anxious person, this book can’t hurt! They include stories of their own experiences with anxiety, medication, and therapy. They also discuss an eight-step plan for handling anxiety and recommend that you take one week to complete each step.

I’m a very anxious person overall, and following the steps in this book helped me so much. There were so many things (especially post-Covid lockdowns!) that used to make me insanely anxious. This book taught me so many coping strategies and ways to force myself out of my comfort zone. I can’t recommend it enough! 

The Science of Positivity by Loretta Graziano Breuning 

The Science of Positivity is all about “hacking” your thoughts and learning to rewire your mammal brain to think less negatively. There’s some fascinating cognitive science facts throughout this book- I’d never really thought about how our brains are wired to look for threats and how that affects our daily thoughts. Breuning goes through a lot of the history and chemistry of our brains, and then gives some great tips for thinking more positively going forward. If you want to rewire your brain to be a little less negative, this book is for you! 

The best part of these books is that I was able to check all of them out of my local library- so if you’re looking for a place to start, that’s pretty low commitment! These self-help books were all winners, and they challenged how I thought and how I act in my everyday life. Why not give them a shot? Everyone can use a little life advice!

Cassandra is a communications and media studies student at Carleton University. She is the 2021-2022 Treasurer for Her Campus at Carleton. She is a big fan of rollerskating, personality tests (she's an ENFJ!), and John Mulaney.
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